Childhood obesity rates across the world are on the rise. While we know that a sedentary lifestyle and consuming processed and sugary foods are factors, researchers at Duke-National University of Singapore took a closer look at the types of food that are associated with overweight and obese children.
Here’s what they found:
Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which recorded the diets and Body Mass Index (BMI) of nearly 4 500 children in England, the researchers tracked what the children ate and what happened to their bodies over the course of three years. They found that certain foods might be causing disproportionate harm.
Children who regularly ate potato chips tended to gain the most weight. French fries, fried chicken and fish, processed meats and fatty spreads like butter also promoted obesity. Desserts, sweets, sugary drinks and any other foods containing added sugar also lead to weight gain in kids – no surprise there.
Foods cooked in oil, whether sautéed or even roasted, were linked to weight gain, too “There are foods like potatoes, which aren’t inherently bad for you because they fill you up. But, when you turn them into French fries and potato chips, they tend to result in weight gain,” said the study’s lead author, Eric Finkelstein.
It’s important to note that just because a certain food has more calories, it doesn’t mean it will result in weight gain. It all depends on what the food is and how it is prepared, such as the potato reference above.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.